The patron of charitable societies had to learn to recognize the critical needs that beset the bodies and spirits of the poor
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul (September 27, 2018): ECCL 1:2-11; PS 90:3-4,5-6,12-13,14,17; LK 9:7-9
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Vincent de Paul wanted nothing more than a comfortable life as a parish priest in 17th-century France.
Then, hearing the confession of a dying servant, he became truly aware of the desperate spiritual and material needs of the poor, especially those in rural areas. Working with a number of rich women who wanted to assist those in great need, Father Vincent began to reach out to young and old, sick and slave. He also conducted retreats for the clergy and improved the teaching at seminaries. He started charitable organizations within parishes, as well as founding an order of priests, the Congregation of the Mission, and, with St. Louise de Marillac, the Daughters of Charity.
St. Vincent de Paul tried to see the face of Christ in each person and encouraged others to do the same. His dedication to service on behalf of those in trouble, in need and in pain still influences the Church. He would have appreciated the words of the Psalm: “Fill us at daybreak with Your mercy, that all our days we may sing for joy. May the favor of the Lord our God be ours. Prosper the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:14,17). He is patron of charitable societies all over the world.